Q Do you like Senator Thune?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do. I hunt with the Senator -- he's a courageous
Q Do you like Paul Ryan?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Who, Paul Ryan? Sure -- Wisconsin.
Q Can we just posit to you on Iraq, and that is, Mr. Vice President, on January 20, 2009 -- you get the afternoon off that day -- what is your best case for how Iraq will look, and how many troops do you think we'll have in Iraq?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm not going to make that forecast in terms of troop levels. I think what Dave Petraeus has been able to do, based on the decision the President made a little less than a year ago, has been the -- I think it's a remarkable success story; one of those military operations that will be studied for many, many years to come.
We've still got a lot of work to do. We're sort of halfway through the surge, in a sense, and will be going back to pre-surge levels over the course of the next year. Now, where exactly we'll end up a year from now is going to be based on recommendations from General Petraeus and the chiefs, and the President will make his decision as to what he thinks is appropriate. But I am fairly confident that we'll have Iran in a good place where we'll be able to look back on it and say that was the right decision, it was a sound decision to go into Iraq, that -- I meant Iraq earlier -- did I say Iran?
Q Yes, sir --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- that we have, in fact, achieved our objective in
terms of having a self-governing Iraq that's capable for the most part of
defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, and a
nation that will be a positive force and influence, if you will, in the
future in terms of events and developments in that part of the world. I
think it will be a major success story.
Q All this by
|SOURCE White House Press Office|
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